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Enterprise Cuts Energy Use 6.7%, on Average

Enterprise Holdings achieved an average 6.7 percent same-store energy reduction in 2011, putting it ahead of a target of a 20 percent reduction by 2015, from 2010 levels, according to the car rental company’s first Sustainability Report.

In FY2011 (August 2010 – July 2011) the company’s direct and indirect energy consumption totaled 1,464,680 gigajoules, down from 1,569,944 gigajoules in FY2010.

The 20 percent target, called the 20/20 Vision, pertains to both energy use and related costs. The goal is broken down into a 4 percent reduction goal for each of the five years, and Enterprise expects the effort will result in $50 million in savings.

The report (pdf) notes that the 2010 baseline excludes branches where an external landlord is responsible for utility bills, and it does not include branches added after 2010. Energy usage at these new locations is being tracked separately as part of Enterprise’s Sustainable Construction Protocol (more on this below). Enterprise aims to establish a single company-wide energy baseline by 2015.

Enterprise Holdings, which owns and operates the Alamo Rent A Car, Enterprise Rent-A-Car and National Car Rental brands, also has a goal to reduce natural gas consumption and related costs by 20 percent over five years, from a 2010 baseline.

Enterprise says its reduction efforts are guided by several principles. “For example, we typically believe that any energy savings opportunity that pays for itself in five years or less is a good investment, and that energy-savings approaches will vary by location and facility because of the different types of potential systems that can be put into place. Beyond that, we think the smartest place to start is with small changes that can make a big difference.”

Some of these small changes have included installing energy-efficient lighting, trade dress and occupancy sensors, and using energy-saving software. At Enterprise’s West Virginia operations, each branch designated a conservation captain responsible for a checklist of tasks, including ensuring that computers are turned off and thermostats set correctly.

In Chicago, locations have retrofitted lights, put timers on lot lighting fixtures and installed high-speed garage doors. Enterprise’s Kansas City operations have installed power washers and added kill switches to garages.

The company ties employee compensation to branch financial performance, and says this motivates staff to find energy savings.

In the past year Enterprise undertook its first carbon inventory. Under the inventory, GHG emissions from Enterprise rental cars count as scope 3, which constitutes 97 percent of the company’s overall impact. Calculating these emissions has proven to be challenging, the report said, “due to the broad range of our customers’ mobility needs and driving habits.”

In 2010, total scope 1 emissions were 128,777 MTCO2e, and scope 2 emissions were 174,525 MTCO2e. The company said that external, third-party verification of 2011 carbon emissions data is expected to be complete by January 2012.

Enterprise has a goal of reducing scope 1 and 2 emissions 10 percent by 2015, though the report did not give a baseline year for this target. The company says it will continue to focus on its supply chain to minimize emissions associated with the transportation and sourcing of products used in its operations.

This year the company launched the Enterprise Sustainable Construction Protocol, a set of guidelines aiming to make all newly constructed and retrofitted rental locations sustainable during the next five years, and the report says that the company has completed more than 1,200 retrofit and new construction projects in 2011.

Enterprise began investing more than $150 million in sustainable construction through the use of the guidelines, and says the measures will save the company up to 35 percent on its energy and water spend.

Last June it opened a LEED Silver-certified car rental location at Chicago O’Hare International Airport in Chicago. This was the industry’s first Silver-rated location, Enterprise said.

In the report, Enterprise said it expects to pay a premium of about one to two percent on materials to meet the guideline’s requirements.

Enterprise Holdings says it has the largest fleet of rental and leased passenger vehicles in the world, with 1.2 million vehicles, and is in the middle of the nation’s biggest rollout of electric rental vehicles. In FY2011, it took delivery of more than 150 full EVs, and it was the first company to rent the plug-in hybrid electric Chevy Volt. It is also expanding its offer of Toyota Prius plug-in hybrids and Peugeot iOns.

It offers thousands of hybrid vehicles at approximately 70 “hybrid branches” in 30 markets across the country, including the 10 busiest U.S. airports for business travel.

Enterprise says it is also the first major company in its sector to shift its fleet of more than 500 airport shuttle buses to five percent biodiesel (B5). It has a goal to convert all airport shuttle buses in its fleet to B20 biodiesel by 2015.

Among its environmental initiatives, Enterprise also touts WeCar, a car-sharing service at municipalities, colleges and corporate campuses. WeCar offers hybrids and is now adding electric vehicles. And it credits the Enterprise Rideshare program, a carpooling service for commuters, with taking cars off the road.

Since 2006, Enterprise owners the Taylor family have given $35 million to the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center and its Enterprise Rent-A-Car Institute for Renewable Fuels. Much of the institute’s work focuses on using algae to produce third-generation biofuels that could be used to power cars, trucks and aircraft.

Enterprise also funded the planting of six million trees in national forests throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe since 2006, with a total of 50 million planned by 2056.

This year it became a corporate member of the National Clean Fleets Partnership, a federal initiative established to help large companies incorporate electric vehicles, alternative fuels, and fuel-saving measures into their daily operations, and joined the Electrification Coalition, a nonpartisan, not-for-profit group of business leaders representing the entire value chain of the growing electric-vehicle industry.

As it released its sustainability report, Enterprise also reported a more than 12 percent FY2010 increase in revenues, to $14.1 billion.

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